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In the late 19th century, the new nation-state of Italy was eager to join her European neighbors in creating an international empire. Italy's eyes turned towards Africa as a source of potential colonies. Most of the continent had already been carved up between the Great Powers but Italy succeeded in securing a foothold in Eritrea on the Red Sea coast, a vassal of the Emperor of Ethiopia. Trade and other links were established with the Ethiopian empire but quarrels regarding the interpretation of a particular clause led to Ethiopian support for uprisings in Eritrea. Italian troops entered northern Ethiopia and captured Adowa, the capital of the Tigray province. Full-scale war broke out and this new Osprey title tracks every development in the battle and the men who fought in it.From the Trade Paperback edition.
It was the beginning of the end for the James gang. In the past ten years Frank and Jesse James had gone from unknown ex-Confederate guerrillas to the most famous outlaws in the world. A string of daring robberies of banks, trains, and stagecoaches had brought them fame, admiration, hatred, and a surprisingly small amount of wealth. In 1876 they planned their most daring raid yet--to ride hundreds of miles from their home state of Missouri to rob the First National Bank at Northfield, Minnesota. This book will tell the story of one of the most daring bank jobs in American history. With most of the gang being former bushwhackers, they used many guerrilla tactics in the planning and execution of the raid, yet failed because of poor discipline and their own fame, which meant that every town in the Midwest had their guns loaded waiting to fight off bandits.
Osprey's new Weapon series provides a highly-detailed yet affordable overview of the development, use, and impact of small arms throughout history--from the sword to the machine gun. Journey back to the time when handguns had no moving parts! Variously called handgonnes, hackbuts, coulevrines, pistolas, schiopettos, tyufyaks, and even bombardelles, the first black powder infantry weapons were extremely crude by today's standards. In his new book, Sean McLachlan, author of American Civil War Guerilla Tactics, dispels the myth that these weapons were ineffective on the battlefield (beyond their terrifying noise!). Rather, he demonstrates through careful examination of the historical records that the handgonne was a viable weapon from its inception, even as it saw action side-by-side with the cross-bow.Readers will be treated to a lush collection of rare photographs and artwork from such far-flung locales as Danish National Museum and the Bayerisches Armeemuseum. Original artwork from Gerry and Sam Embleton illustrate how these weapons were used on the battlefield and reenactor photos demonstrate step-by-step how they were loaded and fired.
In July 1863, with the Confederacy still reeling from the defeats at Vicksburg and Gettysburg, Union forces pushed deep into Arkansas, capturing the capital of Little Rock. In response, Colonel Joseph O. Shelby launched a daring raid to disrupt the advance. Taking 600 men and a section of light artillery, he slipped behind enemy lines. Moving by night to confuse the enemy, Shelby captured a series of small outposts, collecting weapons and recruits as he went. As they continued their ride, the rebels tore up railroad tracks, burned bridges, and cut telegraph lines. Despite these successes, the Union troops slowly closed in on the raiders. Shelby fought a series of bitter skirmishes, until he found himself surrounded. Unwilling to surrender, Shelby led a charge through the Federal lines, bursting out into the open country and onto the road back to the Confederacy. While the results of this raid are still debated by historians, no one has ever doubted its boldness, and west of the Mississippi it became common to boast, "You've heard of Jeb Stuart's ride around McClellan? Hell, brother, Jo Shelby rode around MISSOURI!"
The Gunfight at the OK Corral on 26 October 1881 is one of the most enduring stories of the Old West. It led to a series of violent incidents that culminated in the Vendetta Ride, in which Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and several other gunslingers went after their rivals the Cowboys.Like most tales of the Wild West, the facts are buried under layers of myth, and the line between good guys and bad guys is blurry. Wyatt Earp, leader of the so-called "good guys", was charged with stealing horses in the Indian Territory in 1870 and jumped bail. Becoming a buffalo hunter and gambler, he got into several scrapes and earned a reputation as a gunfighter. Several times he helped lawmen arrest outlaws, but usually his assistance came more because of a personal grudge against the criminal than any real respect for law and order. He even got fired from a police job in Wichita for beating up a political rival. So it was in Tombstone. He settled there in 1879 along his three brothers and "Doc" Holliday. Virgil and Morgan Earp worked as lawmen. As the Earps became a power in the town, investing in some businesses and starting others, they were soon at loggerheads with the Clanton Gang, the so-called "Cowboys." In that time and place, honest cowboys called themselves "ranchers" and the term "cowboy" was reserved for rustlers and other unsavory characters.The Tombstone Cowboys had Cochise County sheriff John Behan in their pocket and the struggle between the Earps and Cowboys was partially a political rivalry. It was also because the Earps had invested in the stagecoaches and the Cowboys liked to rob them. There was an element of lingering differences over the Civil War as well, something common in Wild West feuds. The Earps and friends were mostly Republican Northerners, while the Cowboys were mostly Democrats and former Confederates. This distinction wasn't clear cut, however, as at least one Confederate veteran rode with the Earps. Brawls and threats between the two sides became more frequent and culminated in a showdown near the OK Corral. Several Cowboys were loitering around hoping to attack Doc Holliday, so the Earps and Holliday decided to arrest them on the grounds that they were carrying weapons in town. In the shootout three Cowboys were killed and Virgil and Morgan Earp wounded.The Cowboys thirsted for revenge and shot Morgan Earp in the back five months later. Virgil was crippled in a separate shooting. Taking Morgan's body to Tucson, the surviving Earp brothers and Holliday spotted Frank Stillwell, one of the Cowboys suspected of murdering Morgan. They shot him down. A large posse under John Behan, including many Cowboys, chased after the Earps but never caught them.